• Plans to sign a marquee attacker and a wideman have been curtailed due to Martial's form.
  • France international has scored eight goals in 20 appearances this season for United.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho's transfer plans have been radically changed by the form of Anthony Martial, reports suggest.

The France international's future was very much in limbo after Mourinho's first season at Old Trafford, as he made just 18 Premier League starts.

Links with Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic dominated the concluding weeks of the summer transfer window and Mourinho had even considered trading in the 21-year-old to get the deal done.

After a move for Perisic collapsed, Martial began the campaign on the periphery but a series of vital contributions off the bench has catapulted him in the United first team.

Martial started one league game in the first two months of the season but has now begun United's last four games in all competitions and netted his eighth goal in 20 appearances in the demolition of Watford on Tuesday [28 November].

Mourinho had planned to sign a player in the mould of Martial as well as a marquee striker in the next two transfer windows, but according to The Independent those plans have been shelved due to the Frenchman's impressive form.

The former Chelsea boss has also relented in his interest in Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, who appears destined to join Barcelona.

Despite Martial's form, the ex-Monaco starlet has completed 90 minutes just once this season – the 4-1 Carabao Cup win over Burton Albion in September. And the major reservation Mourinho continues to have over Martial remains his fitness.

"I think he suffers a little bit with accumulation of matches", Mourinho said after the 4-2 win over Watford at Vicarage Road. "I could feel that in the second half he was going down and down and down. He's still a young guy and his body, his biological situation has space to improve but in the first half, during the time, he had strength and explosion in his legs. He was dangerous and [scored] an important goal."

Among the clubs linked with a move for Martial in the summer was Arsenal, who welcome United to The Emirates Stadium this weekend. The former Lyon youngster will therefore have the chance to start a fifth game in a row for the first time under Mourinho against the club he could have joined during the off-season.

Anthony Martial
Martial has netted eight goals this season after forcing his way into the first team. Reuters